Hawks, Eagles, Tiny Fast Birds, and the Majesty of God
Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar and spread its wings toward the south?
Is it at your command that the eagle rises to the heights to make its nest?
In early March of this year, right before COVID happened, I was in Arizona with my husband visiting two of our boys and our daughter-in-law. I went on a hike with one of my sons. It was tough. But fun! When we reached the top of Picacho Peak, we were the only ones there. It was peaceful, and the beauty surrounded us. All of a sudden, a tiny bird whizzed by. I'd never seen a bird fly so fast. We both laughed! These small creatures enthralled both of us. Suddenly, a large bird appeared out of nowhere it seemed. I think it was a hawk. It had been flying lower than we were. As we watched him soar, we noticed more hawks. They seemed to be everywhere, flying around and protecting their space. They were so very impressive, and we watched them for several minutes as they soared through the air. We made up a story about why the small birds needed to fly so quickly to keep from getting bullied. One flew so near to us, we jumped and laughed again.
When I read Job 39:26-30, I was reminded of my hike, and of the birds we had enjoyed watching that day. I remembered how I had connected what I was seeing with God. He had created these birds--every detail, every instinct. I've never been overly interested in birds, but being up high and close to where they were flying was fascinating. And I'm telling you, I wouldn't mind seeing those tiny, fast birds again!
You probably know the story of Job. He was a righteous, godly man who lost almost everything in a matter of hours. God had allowed Satan to afflict him. Job now sat with boils from head to toe listening to his three friends explain to him why he was suffering so much. They accused him of sinning and deserving punishment from God. Job maintained his innocence, but he wanted answers, and he wanted to present his case to God. Much of the book of Job is the speeches his friends gave and Job's responses. Although Job's friends spoke some truth, their accusations were not only wrong, we read them and think, how dare they be so unfeeling, so uncaring, so judgmental. It's hard to read. And Job comes across like a man in pain, and we can relate. But when God starts to speak, we listen. God's words are commanding, and you can't help but feel small and insignificant compared to Him. You can sense the majesty of God in His words, "Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them" (Job 38:2-3). God then proceeds to ask Job question after question about where He was when the foundations of the earth were laid or if he had ever commanded the morning to appear. Did he know where the light comes from or where the darkness goes? God challenges Job, but His questions to Job also challenge me. When I read these chapters (38-42), I am undone.
At one point, God asks Job if it was his wisdom that made the hawks soar or if it was at his command that the eagle soared and built his nest on high. It was then that I remembered my adventure with the birds. I felt awe all over again. But now I was being challenged and feeling relatively small in the presence of God. How often I have spoken without knowledge and decided what God must be doing or thinking or feeling. Imagine how Job felt. I am only reading about it, but God was speaking to Job. Job was pretty much speechless. He had no answers and only said, "I am nothing--how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say," and later, "I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you...I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance." God's word can have that effect. Listen to Hebrews 4:12-13, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
Saturday, I watched the PrayerMarch2020 on TBN. Unlike Job, who was righteous but spoke of things he knew nothing about, our nation is careening down a path of destruction. Many have rejected God or, like Job, speak of things they don't understand. I try to imagine what God would say to America or even the Church if He were to challenge us like He did Job. Would He say the same thing? Would we, like Job, recognize how absurd it is for us to think we can lecture or criticize our Creator? Someday, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Rom 14:11). By then, it will be too late for those who rejected Him. They will know the truth, but it will be too late. Now is the time for salvation! "For he says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor 6:2) and "Remember what it says: 'Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled' ” (Heb 3:15). I am so grateful for leaders like Franklin Graham, who will lead us to pray for our nation. And I am thankful that there is still time. Today is the day of salvation! If you are reading this and know that you are not right with God, it isn't too late! Acknowledge that you are a sinner and tell God that you know that Jesus is the only way...that it was His death and resurrection that made the way; He is the truth, and He is the life. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6).
I would encourage you to open up your Bible and read Job 38-42 or other passages that speak of the sovereignty, authority, and power and majesty of God. Do you feel undone when you read passages like this? What would God have you do in response?
I thank God for adventures and beauty and birds. And I praise Him for His love and mercy and His promises. Right now, I'm remembering his promise in Lamentations 3:22-23 that reminds me that "because of His great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."